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Arthritis In Dogs – Symptoms & Treatments

Arthritis In Dogs

What Is Arthritis in Dogs?

If your lying dog experiences difficulty or reluctance in getting up, seems stiff or tires easily, you are noticing the telltale signs of your dog's arthritis.

This is a degenerative joint disease, called osteoarthritis which is the most common type of canine arthritis. This affects one out of five dogs and its frequency increases with increasing age.

Similar to humans, dogs are living longer lives, which is unequivocally great. The advanced years often come with a host of medical and cognitive problems. One of the top ones and one which can often be the ‘simple’ (yes, indeed, I said “simple”) to deal with is when dogs start to have arthritic problems.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of arthritis in dogs are often ignored or dismissed. Pet owners have a tendency to disregard the signs as the dog just keeps ‘slowing down’ or ‘getting aged’.

Signs Of Arthritis in Dogs

  • Unwillingness To Walk, Reluctant To Climb Stairs, Play Or Jump
  • Lameness/ Abnormal Gait
  • Trailing Behind On Walks
  • Stiffness Or Soreness When Getting Up Or Down
  • Yelping When Touched
  • A Change In Personality (Aggression When Normally Good-Natured)
  • Licking Of The Affected Joints

How to Treat Arthritis in Dogs?

1. Doggy NSAIDs like

  • Metacam (meloxicam).
  • Deramaxx (deracoxib).
  • Rimadyl (carprofen).
  • Previcox (firocoxib).
  • EtoGesic (etodolac).

The newer NSAID Galliprant is considered to be safer on the kidneys.

2. If a dog’s arthritis is severe or does not respond to other forms of treatment. Pain-relieving medications like gabapentin, tramadol, amantadine, etc may be prescribed by veterinarians.

3. For reduction of swelling and inflammation in arthritic joints, Prednisone, dexamethasone and other corticosteroids will be prescribed for a short duratrion.

Home Remedies For Arthritis in Dogs

Luckily, even your dog’s arthritis and mobility issues don’t mean you have to alter your home or relocate to a double-story rancher. Improving their quality of life and treating them also needn’t be bank-breaking for you, and it isn’t even all about medications. There are lots of simple, economical, and practical things you can get and do to improve your arthritic dog's mobility.

If your dog has arthritis or at risk for any orthopedic disease, here are some things you can do at home to help.

  1. Make sure your dog is still active - like regular walking and playing with your dog to help their joints work better.
  2. Weight management for your dog is important. Multiple studies have shown the link between the increased risk of arthritis and being overweight.
  3. Supplementing for healthy joints - Omega-3 fatty acids, Cannabidiol oil, Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
  4. Make your dog more comfortable: A hardwood floor may feel less comfortable. You can give them a fluffy bed, carpets on the floor to lie on and more.

How To Prevent Arthritis in Dogs?

  1. Start a Nutritionally Sound Diet Early.
  2. Exercise Your Dog the Right Way.
  3. Regular visits to the vet including yearly once comprehensive examination.
  4. Ask Your Veterinarian about bone and Joint Supplements.
  5. Maintain your dog’s optimal weigh.

Dog Breeds Affected By Arthritis

Large breeds, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, Bernese Mountain Dog, English Springer Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Senior Dogs, Giant Dogs

Arthritis in Dogs Facts

Breed: Certain dog breeds (whose frames carry more weight) like Doberman Pinschers, Shepherds Labradors, Rottweilers, etc., are more likely to develop arthritis at a young age. Arthritis at a young age is not so prevalent at Small to medium-sized dogs but it cannot be ruled out.

Age: Most people think of arthritis as a disease of old dogs.. Almost 20% of dogs show signs as early as the age of one year.

Weight: The increase in the prevalence of arthritis is directly correlated to the overweight in dogs. The more they are above the optimal weight, tougher it is on your dog's mobility.

Health History and Issues: check the breed is predisposed to any genetic issues such as hipdysplasia in dogs. Healthy history is important as if there has been an accident to your dog or ligament injuries that may contribute to arthritis in your dog.

When To See A Vet For Arthritis in Dogs?

In addition to being painful and ubiquitous, arthritis signs are often ignored in its earlier stages; early detection and keeping an eye out for any abnormal actions, no matter how seemingly benign, is really important.

The signs can be really subtle. It can be something like what you’d call ‘lazy’ or sleeping a lot. If you’re not too sure, or see any abnormal changes, seek your vet’s help.

Diet and Best Food For Arthritis in Dogs

Sample recipe for Dog arthritic problems.


  • 2 cups kale.
  • 2 cup chopped carrots.
  • 2 chopped sweet potato.
  • ½ cup chopped celery.
  • 1½ cup quinoa.
  • ½ cup chopped parsley.
  • ½ cup lentils.
  • 3 garlic cloves.


  • In a large pot, add required water and add chopped carrots and sweet potatoes.
  • When boiled, simmer it for few minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients.
  • No heating, close the pot and allow settling down.
  • How much to feed: ½ cup / 20 pounds of dog weight.
  • You can store the leftovers in fridge and use it for 5 days.

Best foods for Arthritic Dogs

Whole Foods

  • Vitamin-rich veggies: Cauliflower, Zucchini, Broccoli.
  • Antioxidant-packed fruits: Cantaloupe, Blueberries, Cherries, Peeled Apple.
  • Leafy greens: Kale, Spinach, Collards.
  • Fiber-filled veggies: Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Acorn Squash.
  • Lean protein: Chicken, Turkey.
  • Fish: Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel, Tuna.


  • Omega-3 oils: green lipped mussel oil, Fish oil.
  • Flaxseed oil (sprinkle over dog’s food).
  • Coconut oil (use to sauté dog’s veggies or mix in with dog’s food).

Herbs and Spices

  • Turmeric (powdered or fresh root).
  • Parsley (bonus = breath freshener).
  • Fresh ginger root.
  • Cinnamon.


Arthritis in dogs is a progressive, inflammatory disease which affects the animal’s joint health and can restrict a dog’s mobility. Most of the treatments are intended at treating the pain and to slow down the progression of arthritis. So, proper detection of this developmental orthopedic disease is the best way to start a proactive treatment plan.

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